If you haven’t heard of Bend, Oregon, you are missing out on one of the coolest towns in the country. I know, I know, you probably think I’m biased because I lived there. But here’s the thing, I visited every weekend before I moved there because there is so much to do and so much going on. Silicon Valley is catching on as well and Bend is becoming a commuter town to San Jose.
Bend has exploded in popularity in the past 10 years or so, and a huge part of that is the huge brewery scene in Bend. With a population of just about 80,000, Bend has 22 breweries. In fact, rumor has it that Bend ran out of water a few years ago due to the amount of water needed to sustain the breweries and had to borrow from neighboring Redmond.
Bend even has its own Ale Trail, which is a lot of fun and a great way to explore Bend.
Some of the breweries are names you might recognize, like Deschutes Brewing, 10 Barrel and McMenamins, but some are amazing local secrets. Have you heard of Crux? What about Worthy? Wild Ride? If you have, chances are you are a Bend or Oregon local.
Since it would take me forever to break down every amazing brewery in Bend, I’m going to focus on a few of our favorites that ended up being food and beer staples during our time in Bend.
I tend to lean toward sour beers or ciders, so many of these breweries have great options in that department!
Yep, I’m bringing out the big guns first. Before 10 Barrel was sold to Anheuser-Busch, it was a small restaurant and brewery on Bend’s Westside. With two locations in Bend, and locations in Portland, Boise, Denver, and San Diego, most people don’t know 10 Barrel’s humble roots began in Bend. Unfortunately, loyalists turned on 10 Barrel with the buy out, calling them “sell outs” and even going so far as to fly a banner over the San Diego opening, stating, “10 Barrel Isn’t Craft Beer.”
But here’s the thing, guys… the beer and food at 10 Barrel are legit. Don’t even try to fight me on it. Have you had the Steak and Gorgonzola Nachos? Have you tried their Raspberry Crush Sour? Any of their amazing seasonal brews? Until you have, keep an open mind about 10 Barrel.
We are one location shy (c’mon San Diego!) of visiting every 10 Barrel location, and none, aside from maybe Portland, truly measure up to the Bend locations. The original location especially is cozy, intimate, and a true local institution.
When we moved to Bend, we found a place to live on the Eastside. Though our neighborhood has amazing things like Pilot Butte and lots of trails, it is a bit lacking in the beer department. Luckily, Worthy was right around the corner from us and ended up being our favorite brewery in Bend.
First things first, Worthy is the only brewery to feature an observatory… or Hopservatory, if you will! Every clear night, the Hopservatory is open to visitors and the proceeds (all donation, I believe) are donated to support science literacy programs and initiatives.
Every beer I have tried at Worthy has been amazing and the food is phenomenal as well. Personally, I would opt for a Prefunk Pale and the Smokehouse pizza. Prepare to have your world rocked!
Even though Worthy is a bit off the beaten path, it is absolutely worth the trip!
Silver Moon has a bit of a strange location, tucked away under an overpass, but once you get inside or out on the patio, it becomes a cozy, local joint.
Silver Moon is probably my favorite beer in Bend. My absolute favorite is the Salty Bog, a super tart cranberry beer. The Mango IPA is also to die for!
Silver Moon regularly hosts local events, like $1 pint night, trivia, and Bloody Mary bingo.
Wild Ride is truly a local brewery. Based in Redmond, about 15 minutes north of Bend, Wild Ride isn’t a brewery that many visitors stumble across. Wild Ride is located in a giant warehouse space in Downtown Redmond and also features a handful of food carts on property. Our personal favorite is The Jerk King. You can never go wrong with their Caribbean Rice Bowl or Quesadilla.
Wild Ride has a frequently rotating and amazing seasonal selection of beers. I love the Blood Orange Pale Ale, Pineapple Pale Ale, and the whole Tarty to the Party series of sours.
Wild Ride is a laid back environment off the beaten path, but absolutely worth the trip.
I’m a cider love, through and through, and Avid blows most other cider taprooms out of the water. With over a dozen ciders on tap, Avid the THE cider of Bend.
It would be impossible for me to even give you a favorite because honestly, everything is amazing. The flavors rotate fairly regularly, so you will never be bored by the selection.
Avid has a laid back taproom, featuring board games, a popcorn machine, and outdoor seating in the popular Box Factory. If you are already a cider lover or looking to cultivate your cider palate, Avid is the place.
So there you have it! While this is by no means a comprehensive list of Bend breweries, these are definitely some of my favorite.
Plus, with all the awesome hiking, climbing, and running in Bend, nothing will feel better than settling in with a nice cold beer at the end of the day.